The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. – Albert Einstein
Have you ever noticed how curious happy and successful people are?…Nobel prize winners, innovators, inventors, great couples, artists, achievers and leaders. Along with a great reverence for life there’s often a wild, child-like energy. It can freak people out. But why?These folks have unlocked Pandora’s box unleashing an energy that will fuel and feed them throughout their lives. Renowned psychologist Guy Hendricks calls this the “zone of genius.” People living in it can seem, well, curious. If you get close to people operating in their zone of genius you’ll discover a curiosity that’s driven by more than the desire know something. There’s the insatiable drive and spirit to discover new things and a true reverence for life. They are plugged into electrified by curiosity.
Lot’s of the greats have talked about the powers of curiosity. Such as…
The Dali Lama…
The more we are curious about the world, the clearer our minds become and the more we develop a spirit on initiative.
And Walt Disney…
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
The greats seem to see curiosity as the engine of innovation and discovery. Rockstar Physicist Neil Degrass seems to agree, but states it a little more directly. He says…
No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don’t ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives.
So curiosity seems important especially if we want to operate out of our zone of genius in our life. What can we do to unlock it?
Here’s (1) suggestion
Play. Allow yourself to laugh, have fun, and be freakishly curious in all you do. If you’re afraid, no big deal. Your curiosity is in there. The muscle just needs some exercising, it’s likely a little flabby.
CONSIDER DOING THIS
HANG OUT with a kid – Kid’s don’t even have to be playing to be locked into their curiosity -they are just there. Hang out long enough and you’ll begin to get back in touch with where you started. Inside each of us is a child at play. No matter how hard you try in your adult life, you will never be able to ditch the kid in you. Psychology has plenty to say about this reality if you don’t believe me. I’m lucky enough to have a 3 year old power plant of amazing named Gus. Down Syndrome has not limited his curiosity one lick! He’s a great teacher and daily reminder to stay in touch with curiosity. He’s actually trying to wrestle the mouse out of my hands right now! Curious kid!
UNLOAD your questions – the truly curious are insatiable learners. Again, look at kids! So create a mission to ask new questions daily. Make it a game, your questions don’t have to be serious. They can be ridiculous, provocative, and powerful questions. Play and adjust as you go. Once you ask a question step back. Take the time to listen and learn from people. Underneath curiosity is a powerful need to make NEW CONNECTIONS. Asking the right questions can create the space for meaningful connections to be made -but again, you have to be willing to listen. Your ego needs to take a back seat, which is a healthy exercise for anyone.
Ok, I hope you enjoyed this foray into the usefulness of curiosity. Go be curious today, folks! See you in tomorrow’s Daily Insight.
This can lead to some serious soul-grinding along the way. However, as I’ve come along I’ve discovered there’s a way to free yourself from this seeming paradox.
I’d suggest the first step at understanding these two approaches is to start looking at their similarities. If we wade in looking for the differences, we’re headed for a long walk in dark woods. In fact, this is where the bulk of the self-help and success literature falls. We tend to pit one way against the other, service-to-self vs service-to-other. Lots of books get sold this way. The truth is whether you’re serving yourself or others, the process is the same.
Each requires; asking, listening, adapting, and then giving. Giving, as well as sharing, are essentially actions. These are the fundamentals needed to grow and make progress, or find fulfillment. Let’s break these down by looking at service-to-self first.
Typically, for those that see themselves on a spiritual journey, or the “the road to authenticity,” the process begins by turning within. This is the ask. You have to learn to get quiet to ask the big questions.
Then comes the practice of listening. Wisdom tends to be a whisper, so we have to learn to lean in. And this is important, because there’s alot of noise bouncing around in our head’s. Noise meaning we live in a world of information, advice, agendas, bullshit, and expectations. Most of what’s in our head’s wasn’t consciously put there, it was swallowed. So the discipline of turning inwards and fine tuning is important. It helps us filter out the noise but also connect to truer source of guidance. Inner guidance.
Once we’ve made a connection, we then have to make adjustments. Many of our decisions in life are based on assumptions drawn from information. So adaptation a key step. Without the adjustment, we’re like planes stuck perpetually circling the airport.
Give it away
Finally, the last step is take what we’ve learned through the process and then share it with the world. This is the critical leap where a genuine contribution is made.
Now this process and steps are the same for those who live in service. The big difference, of course, is that they focus on helping others first. Or in other words, they start by turning their attention outward. When a person serves others, they work their way from the outside world in. So, instead of turning inward to ask as a first step, they ask the world, etc. In today’s business cultures the lingo is “value-driven.” Business, on the grand stage, sets up systems that operate in this way. They automate this process.
So, no matter your preferred path, if you learn to see life as an invitation to create a healthy conversation, things get better. Life is a good chat, or can be. The moment we stop listening is the signal we’re headed for trouble. Grace disappears, and things get sticky when we end up there.
I’m a huge fan of Glennon Doyle. Here’s a woman who for 10 years hid herself in a closet at 4:00 am to find the time and space to write. She began with a simple dream, an honest, heart-felt intention to reach out and touch the world. And she did! She started a truly magical conversation through her blog and then books. But then she remained open to continuing the conversation along the way. She shared her changes out loud because she made a commitment to not hide from life. Then later, when she decided to divorce her husband and then remarry another woman, despite being touted as an acclaimed “relationship expert,” she maintained her integrity. How?… She walked the narrow path. She didn’t listen to the noise and advice of those with agendas. She exercised her integrity. The art of integrity comes with knowing where you’re headed, and accepting direction along the way. The direction she accepted, of course, came when she learned to listen to life. She’s mastered the art of the conversation. Here’s a great article where Glennon talks through her decision to walk away from her marriage.
So, I guess I’d end by saying we’ve all been tasked with discovering a new way in life. We can call this “our way.” Whether we like it or not, there’s no way around the fact that we will create something brand new. The life you live will never be repeated again. Learning to celebrate this by staying open to change and embracing the process is a powerful thing. You’ll inherit a life filled with integrity and grace. Just keep the conversation going!
This wasn’t a willy nilly move. I have a family I’m passionate about, and a beautiful boy who happens to have Down Syndrome named Gus. We have complexity in our life that adds financial pressures, as many of you do. So, consequently, I started planning a couple years before to my exit, which means I’d managed to save a bit of money for runway. Essentially I had a mission and plan. I was also bursting with purpose. But after about 6 months of burning cash like coal on a old timey steam train, an alternative reality dawned. I realized I’d have to start considering alternative funding, otherwise known as outside funding.
Now, in terms of money, I’m in a somewhat unique position. I’m a therapist with a private practice. I have a wide skillset, which ranges from coaching, couples and family counseling, and facilitating large groups and workshops. This grants me some lattitude. I can learn into my practice if needed. Also, I can maintain my integrity as an independent business owner, which is very important to me, and tends to be with many entrepreneurs. So my professional role affords me a luxury every not every startup founder has. Many have to retreat back into the job world when things go sideways. And honestly, employment in not an option I can entirely take off the table either. But my position as a service provider has also presented some challenges. For one, I’m constantly stuck contemplating a fuzzy line, like how do I know when take my foot off the gas or double down? How far is to far? And as far a debt, how much can and am I willing I take on?… Plainly put, there’s an incredible investment of time you have to put into a startup or new business. Giving up the tiniest bit of ground to spend time elsewhere can seem ludicrous -at least to me it has. In the early stages, a basic mathematics principle becomes evident. Progress correlates to the amount of the time you put in, and quality of the time spent. Progress demands consistent effort. It’s a beautiful struggle anybody who chooses to start a business has to be prepared for. Most startups and new businesses, consequently, are stuck with the issue of how to manage limited resources, but the most important resource by far becomes time. How you learn to manage it is essential. So this fact that I have options to fall back as a professional skill doesn’t make managing time any more convenient. In some ways, it makes it worse. The struggle can seem greater. On the flip side it can a false sense of security. Sometimes I find myself pushing the edge, something I might not do if was forced to operate without my profession to lean on. Perhaps it’s both good and bad, the jury is still out on this.
So like others, when blessed with this bright idea I consumed books on Audible, like a Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide, and crammed in Youtube videos like ->>THIS on Crowdfunding whenever possible. After a couple months of cramming this stuff down my throat, I decided to opt for what I considered a healthy approach. I’d take my time building relationships, as suggested. I’d invest a few months to build friendships in the crowdfunding worlds, support others campaigners, then scale. This is touted by many “experts” and crowdfunding communities as a first step. As a paid relationship strategist myself, this landed like like an entirely sensible idea to me. After all, you don’t cannon ball into the pool at a pool party. You work on building relationships on the pool deck first. The first step that gets suggested is reaching out to the campaigners you admire. Introduce yourself through friendly emails, be curious but not push, and then learn. Then financially support the campaigns that turn you on. This advice seemed to be rooted in the notion that a wise campaigners is aware of the critical importance of relationship-building. This seemed like a very big assumption, especially considering the diversity of campaigners in terms of age and experience, but one I was willing to go with.
Well, I was in for a surprise. First off, I found most campaigner weren’t open for friendly chats. At all. And when I thought about it, why would they be. Most campaigners are hustlers and side-hustlers bleeding time and money out their ears. Most just don’t have the time nor the capital to hire teams to respond to lookie-loos and random hopefuls. I was surprised to see just how few responded at all. So, in just the first stage of my plan, I’d faced a barrier to what was touted as the most important step. At this point I’d already dumped weeks into relationship building, trying out new messaging and introduction strategies. Essentially I was facing a net zero. I’d made one connection with a friendly young artist in the UK promoting his album. He was a gem. But besides that, nothing.
This stuffiness seemed a reality that played out on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo. I’d even hired a VA to help with the effort. Sadly, our efforts may have done more damage than good to my credibility on these sites. Campaigners tend to look beyond the platitudes behind promoted by books, blogs, and communities. Inside it’s more about investing in the relationships that make the most sense. There’s a lot of a value judgments that have to be made about how they spend time, such as is the case with any business owner. So, I found many react when they make an initial assessment about the value you represent. If you’re new to these platforms, and haven’t established a history as a investor, they tend to shy away. Remember, most come for one thing, to raise capital. So investments of time, even at the relationship level, have to make sense at a potential dollar and sense level. Or at least it seemed that way to me.
Also, most of these folks aren’t operating blind. Many have set game-plans based on higher guidance. Information is everywhere, with the biggest firms and companies now openly revealing their strategies through traditional and social media streams. So it seems even the smallest campaigner is operating like they’re prepping for an IPO. I think this has an impact on the way relationships get built within the crowdfunding worlds. It’s way more serious than I expected. While people’s dreams are riding on campaigns, many seem to have taken an extra leap and white washed the humanity in their approach. Well, at least with human elements like spending time having real conversations. Ironically, a lot of campaigners are promoting larger social goods, so the marketing looks fuzzy and human friendly on the outsides. So, again, feeling this out out it can be tricky. It definitely feels clicky, and the costume of the day is stand-offish. I learned you can’t just be a random element out to do good. If you’re not waving wads of money around, there’s a very good chance you’ll be ignored.
Probably 95% of the campaigners I reached out to ignored my emails. The 5% who did respond replied with suspicion, as if I was trying to hack their funding models or who knows what. A few were outright hostile. I had one fellow raising money for a biker cookbook outright belittle me for sending him a sub-par message. He berated me for my lack of imagination and spammy quality, which seemed presumptuous, but something I could understand. But this re-activeness became a pattern on these sites which in the end made it a huge turnoff. I saw alot of false entitlement wrapped up in these the clicky codes and operating ethics unique to the online crowdfunding worlds. Some choose to abuse these tiny privileges it granted, like this biker fellow. In my case, some of the immaturity hiding beneath these clicky codes came out, unfortunately in the form of judgement and aggression. At one point I was even reported, which was funny to me. I wasn’t aware that this could happen. But it ccould, and did. My banishment came on Kickstarter. I learned they have a limit on the amount of messages a person can send. Eventually I got reinstated, but this seemed an odd response. I mean here I am on a community building platform, and I get excommunicated for trying to build relationships?… While I’d hoped for a better outcome and worked damn hard for it, I wasn’t really surprised by the shit-show that ended up evolving. Despite all the expert advice, I could see the relational subterfuge unfolding as I stepped into in. The advice I got just didn’t prove applicable. It’s a different world of relationships in there, different types and rules that don’t appear to be founded in relationships that happen on solid earth. It’s a subset. This seems to be something we’re discovering more and more with technology. The best and worse of our behaviors tend to get amplified. A colleague sent me an article published in the The Atlantic that illustrates that premise pretty clearly. Interestingly, I happened to be preparing for panel where I was asked to talk about the issue of technology addiction.
So for me the dilemma became, “do I make the effort to raise my public profile before I try to step back into crowdfunding?” Maybe that effort could help get me across the gap I’d experienced there. And truth be told, I wasn’t exactly offended by what I found. I actually found it fascinating. There’s always a world of hidden rules when we step into any new relationships. I was also reminded of the basic truth that nobody listens to a rock star they’ve never of. In crowdfunding, if people see you’ve been featured on a 30 second spotlight on Fox News, you become a better bet. These ritual investments stand as proof that you’re willing to do what’s needed. Forget the fact that you’re friendly or driven to good things. More are likely to take a leap into a relationship when you’ve made these investments. It’s a cultural capital thing not entirely unique to the crowdfunding world.
So, in the end, I decided to take a temporary leave of absence from Kickstarter and Indigogo. In the meantime I discovered the value of alternative crowdfunding sources like Patreon. They give much more leeway to creator’s types, and take away the pressures of time-sensitive funding. I actually launched a page that you can find it HERE if you’re interested. I have an end goal of supporting social projects through my brand, so I decided to reach out to the founders in my networks who’ve done this. One of the first conversations I had was with Cameron Brown,the CEO of Thriving Collective. I’d gotten to know him a bit when he was a guest on The Pioneers of Insight, which is one of my shows. He’s an charismatic eco warrior who’s managed to the tightrope of building a business around a larger global mission. So, I’ll write about what I learned from him next.
I love this quote, “do what you’d do if you felt most secure.”
It’s like a message in bottle that’s just as alive now as it was 800 years ago! Meister Eckhart, a philosopher-monk who lived in the middle age, is credited as being it’s author. I had a dream about this guy when I was in the middle of a research project a few years ago. He’s ended up becoming a spiritual mentor of sorts. He was helpful then and still is now, at least in terms of the value his insights continue to bring me.
If you’re curious, here’s an image of Meister that’s managed to survive the ages.
I think this is a great quote to reflect on as it points to a mystery within human nature. It’s this;
The way we feel about ourselves matters.
We can build multi-billion dollar complexes to smash atoms, design computers to decode DNA, air condition 5 acre football stadiums, but none of it’s enough if we simply feel bad.
Why does feeling matter at all?
As human beings, feelings point us back to our nature. We aren’t just thinking or believing beings, we’re feeling beings. Feelings flow from what we think and believe, but ultimately it’s feelings that carry the most weight. For instance, you can live a life thinking, believing, and doing all the right things, and still fall short. If you don’t feel loved, you don’t have squat. And need to figure out how to love ourselves. If we’re not connected to the type of love that radiates from within, we’re stuck with conditional love. And that won’t do the trick. Probably most importantly, feelings point us back to an essential truth. Love is what sets us free.
So back to Meister Eckhart’s idea of doing what you’d do if you felt most secure. Well, think that through. If you felt absolutely secure, you wouldn’t need anything. Desire would go away. You’d be left with love, so you’d act out of love. Love provides the keys to our freedom. This quote is a doozie, as it challenges us to reflect on what it would take for us personally to love and free ourselves.
So today, I want to encourage you reflect on feeling as a path to love and freedom. But just for a bit. Remember, thinking is not enough. Feeling is what’s important. By learning to engage feeling, we get a compass to find our way home.
Here’s a suggestion:
Self love is an art that starts with believing in yourself. Which means believing in your ability to care for yourself, manage, and direct your life. Believing starts with thinking, so I’d encourage you to start there. Repeating these thoughts over time will influence what you believe about yourself, and then ultimately how you feel.
So simply start by repeating this basic thought, “I am good enough.” It’s a powerful mantra. If you find yourself battling this thought, or feeling like a charlatan for thinking it, keep going. Remember, you may have spent a lifetime thinking otherwise, so this takes some effort. But start with thinking, because it tends to be easier than believing or feeling to get a handle on. Imagine if I said, so just FEEL different, or stop believing the thought! Not easy to start with…
Every day, practice this art of believing in yourself. Remember love grows where love flows, and it’s work to tend a garden!
The talk, and encounter, was part of a magical string of events that happened over the course of a couple years. This conversation was a highlight of a very adventurous research project I’d taken on while serving as faculty of a graduate program and balancing a practice. I’ll talk more about that later in the blog, and you’ll hear more about it on the show. But I’ll spoil the punchline just a bit here; this mentor wasn’t alive, so to speak. He was a soul that came through while my colleague was in a deep hypnotic trance -which was part of the research process we were developing.
We’d taken on this project to gain insights into ways to help people release deeply-seated trauma. And honestly, we were also playing around a bit. We both considered ourselves healers first, and professional therapist’s second. So with the research we did allow ourselves to play. Anyway, this soul stepped through. He had a lot to say about the process we were developing which proved to be enormously helpful. Eventually our chat turned into a a much bigger conversation about soul, soul purpose, and soul journeys. There ended up being many enlightening conversations that followed.
Some of ideas that really stood out were the notion that fear and pain were signals, or information that the soul uses to guide it’s ultimate purpose. Neither were bad, necessarily. Ultimately it was how we respond to our fear that’s important. This soul went on to explain that there was a“shortcut” to help people discover their true purpose. He said, “take them to the most painful moment in their life. Behind the pain is a thread of experiences that goes back to the birth of their soul. He called this an “original wound.” He then said, “our purpose and greatest opportunity for happiness lay in ability to face the fears attached to that pain. It’s that simple,” he said.
The other way to look at this is that pain and fear are messengers. They’re threads that connect us to our soul’s purpose, intentions, and desires. Learning to see emotion, trust emotion, process and then move through it is the whole deal. We don’t feel by accident. Learning to relate to our feelings mindfully unleashes our highest potential. They lead us home to our deepest truths. They aren’t distractions or byproducts to be ignored, which is shitty notion that gets perpetuated in our culture. Misunderstood or repressed feelings can create problems, but feelings alone are not. They’re reflections of power and ability as creator souls. They’re game changers, in other words. So, I personally found this idea behind fear and pain to be a validation of my own evolution as a healer. Pain is a purifier. Fear tells me where I need to go.
So, I invite you to consider how you can make use of his this idea in your life. Pain and fear, when addressed mindfully, can help you take a quantum leap in every area of your life. Start small, as it smarts a bit to undertake this. Look at one area of your life. Then ask yourself, what pain am I running from? What fears do I just not want to face?… Again, this could be in your relationships, career, and spiritual life. The most painful area will represent your greatest opportunity for growth and happiness. It’s what you came here to address, if you’re open to running with that idea. It is hard work, so I recommend you take it slowly. But go anyway. Steadily move towards a greater understanding of what they have to teach you.
So, I’ve been thinking about ways I can offer more to our growing community. Not to just add content for content’s sake, but offering something to help you continue your growth conversations. 2018 is my year to step forward as a healer, so I thought adding meditations could be a good fit.
But then I thought, there’s millions of blogs, vlogs, and podcasts offering daily reflections. Which means most of you have more choices than you know what to do with there. Then I thought about, “soulful meditations. ” I poked around and saw there’s less stuff that puts our daily challenges into the perspective of the larger Soul Journey. So the light went on. This felt like it could be valuable and worth the effort.
So I’m calling these Meditations for Soulful Citizens. I’ll be offering reflections around the idea of Soulful Success, and that here is the idea that ultimate success comes from meaningful connection with our highest identify and purpose.
So I just published the first of what I hope will be many meditations to come. I’m targeting daily publication, however I’m not going to be too rigid about that. I’ve discovered ultimatums are great for crazy making. So I’ll aim high and do my best to get them often. I’m imagining them as something you’ll listen to during your daily commute or after a morning stretch, run, or waking up with a cup of or coffee.
Here’s the text and link to the first meditation on acceptance.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ->> http://bit.ly/2CwaD91
Today you’ll walk into a world of differences. All of us will. But beyond those difference lies a wealth of positive energy. We can tap into it if we learn to see past the differences and connect based upon similarities. This is a choice that moves us into a world of contrasts. When we see things in terms of contrasts, like people for instance, we’re able to see that we’re all essentially shades of the same thing. So this step can kick off a powerful process of change.
We can call this the process of acceptance. Learning to accept the differences we see around us helps us on the inside too. It triggers inward growth, or self-acceptance. The more we accept about others and our world, the more we grow. We literally expand, as we gain resources through new relationships. And we gain more access to the resources available to us as souls. Our consciousness expands too, so lots of spiritual goodies come into focus. So we experience gains equally, both in our waking and spiritual life.
So here’s a suggestion to put it into practice:
Think about the soulful people and organizations you admire. Be discerning and try not to judge. Look to see. What did you discover? Maybe compassion, unity, and tolerance? Compassion? Innovation? A celebration of diversity? If so, these are all byproducts of acceptance. Now take a look at yourself, lovingly. What do you see?… Remember, try not to judge. Awakening your highest potential doesn’t have to be a struggle, learning to exercise compassion is key. So start by looking at yourself with kindness and without judgement. Whatever you discover, practice acceptance. The path to your soul is a road paved through self-acceptance.
I’d launched this show back in 2012 to explore the work of folks pushing the envelope in holistic healing. An emerging field some call Quantum healing. But I ended up falling in love with the art of podcasting! I loved everything about it, soup to nuts, from the technology to the marketing. I am creative soul, but for some reason didn’t see this coming. It hadn’t expected it, but I’d gotten my first glimpse into my opportunity in the media world.
It was a nontraditional role, more of a mentorship than a professorship, and the school was filled with atypical routes of study, such as Consciousness Studies, Ecotherapy, and Integrative Health and Healing. I’d been working in an agency settings as a therapist for a few years and knew it would not be enough. I’d felt limited, as therapy is not healing and I’d been growing as healer for years. There’s alot of barriers to work around in traditional therapy settings. I’m also eternally curious. So when I discovered the Institute I made a plan and to get myself in the door. When I put my mind to something I tend to deliver. Within a few weeks I was on the faculty staff. What’s funny is I’d by driving past the institute for years, while working at agency just a few miles down the road. It was an adventurous structure, resembling a Frank Loyd Wright kind of thing, but I’d never looked into it. I figured it was some far out architecture firm or office space. It was a good illustration of the principle that great opportunities are often hide in plain sight. So I was totally flabbergasted with I saw the names attached, as I’d been following some of their work for years, people like Carolynn Myss, Bernie Seigel, Rupert Sheldrake, and Brian Luke Seaward. I knew I had to be there.
So with most passion projects, my time there ended up being both challenging and rewarding. I was balancing a private practice, mostly full-time employment at a treatment center, as well as an ambitious research project on the side. The research was inspired by Rupert Sheldrake’s work, and a Psychologist practicing out of Argosy University named John Klimo. It began as an innocent investigation into what was happening with channeling, but evolved into something much bigger. I basically was knocked out by the quality of information coming through, and it the end my colleague and I ended up developing a process that resembled Gary Weiss’s past life regression work, somewhat. Except we had a trauma release process tossed in. My colleague and I called it “threading.” I’ll likely write more about that experience later in this blog.
So being at the Grad Institute turned out to be incredibly valuable. I got to spread my wings as a facilitator, teacher, and researcher, and also got to share the stage with some of these greats I mentioned. Not only was I expanding my skill-set, I was growing and testing my abilities alongside these leaders in the field. I gained a alotl of confidence there, as many of my deeper instincts about service and healing was validated by people I respected. I couldn’t have gotten that level of confirmation anywhere else.
Eventually I transitioned out the institute and moved into a demanding professional role with less freedom. I then dropped the QH3 podcast. After years working as a working faciltator in a corporate setting, I made a plan to exit and launch my own brand. This process was years in the making. When I finally launched I started production on a show that I thought would be better suited for mainstream consumption. This turned out to be a huge assumption, and I learned a ton about marketing your message in the first 6 months. I was antiquated with the fact that life liked to provide reminders when I chose to stray too far from my healing path. So I ran into more than a few brick walls in the first year. Or so it seemed.
The big aha came during and after my son was hospitalized due to the rapid onset of RSV and Pneumonia. That was a major soul shaker, but adding to the difficulty was my revisiting the realities of today’s medical system. I am infinitely grateful for what we can do with modern medicine, and the progress that science grants us. But hospital. I was reminded that there’s still I plenty of work to do. So, I decided right then I’d do my part to help keep the conversation about holistic health and healing going. As I see it, there’s always room for more soul in science. So that’s the story why QH3 is now live.
For those of you interested in interviews, I just finished up the video intro for my interview with Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. I was lucky enough to share some time with him in Mexico while co-facilitating a wonderful excursion for clients. It’s a short interview with some fun storytelling thrown in. While editing I was reminded of how powerful a family tradition can be when shared. 50 years or so ago Miguel’s father took a huge leap by sharing the wisdom of the Toltecs with the world. Which by the way, wasn’t well received by the Toltec community. But thanks to his courage, the world was changed. I find it fascinating that Miguel is now teaching a system of thinking that’s as equally relevant today as it was almost 6,000 years ago! It’s simply magical, and a great illustration of the timelessness of true wisdom. Wisdom, to me, seems the science of all sciences. It’s principles predate the best of what we see in culture. It seems our modern sciences are confirming more of that each day, but there’s still some catching up to do. It points to the fact that “truth” has a life of its own. And that our culture is hungry for more than information and ideas, we’re drowning in those. We hunger for wisdom within the marketplace. So I found myself inspired, and very excited about the direction I’m heading with my brand. I know there’s a place to bring soul to the science of achievement. People seem to want it, and this seems the right time and place.
So, click ->>INTERVIEW<<– and you’ll be whisked to the QH3 Youtube page. You can watch the interview there.
Alright, that’s the end of this spin.
Stay soulful citizens,
So this past week I’ve faced some stuff. While I’ve been busily building and revising and my “master plan,” life continues doing what it does best. Teach. And whip up challenges. Powerful ones.
My son Gus just got of the ICU. I actually began writing this post from the hospital’s Starbucks. A week ago he caught a bug from school, and then as story often goes with kids, almost immediately he got popped with something worse. Next thing we know we’re at the hospital staring at a diagnosis Pneumonia and RSV – a dreaded respiratory virus that tends to hit kids with Down Syndrome hard.
And he got hit hard.
When we checked in he just couldn’t breath. It was terrifying. At one point, when things were sketchy, he shot straight up in bed and said, “tunnel.” I’ve never heard him say that word before, nor did I know he even knew it. I about had a heart attack. Outside I may have looked calm, but inside I’m doing cartwheels and thinking, “do not go towards the f$&! light! Not yet!”
So, yeah. Nothing like life’s hardest moments to get you thinking. And this situation had me doing loads of it – especially on what I thought I knew about life.
Turns out I didn’t know nearly enough to see this crisis coming. Definitely not in my plans.
So paraphrasing a bit, she said, “Life is about learning to let go. Things go much easier this way. We create things like plans because we believe they can keep us safe. But plans can not.”
I remember not being impressed with her statement at all. First off, I felt like this statement was just wrong. It seemed to me that humanity was built on the backs on the world’s best planners. Imagine Rome being built without a plan, or Civil Rights happening without the genius oversight of Martin Luther King. Or Steve Jobs winging it. I mean, how the hell would we have gotten to the moon without a solid plan? So I reacted, inwardly of course, not being courageous enough to rebuke her outright. I thought, “If I don’t plan, what am I left with?!” I could actually answer that: I’d be stuck with the stinking unknown. I saw plans like torches we carried into the night. And isn’t it helpful to have light when it’s dark outside and you don’t know where you’re going?
Curiously, I found myself chewing on my mentor’s feedback while I was knee deep in my son’s medical crisis.
I remember staring into his swollen blue eyes as he lay in that hospital bed. I was suffering over this issue and wondered, “how will I ever be able to keep him safe? Or my family? Or me?” This only got worse when I thought of the financial hopscotch I was playing as business owner. So there in that stuffy ICU room with bells and buzzers buzzing, I went round and around. I was totally demoralized. I’m not sure how I got there, but I had an insight. I realized my mentor wasn’t criticizing planning. She was inviting me to reflect on the nature of true safety.
What becomes painfully obvious when you’re a parent stuck considering the mortality of your child, is how helpless you truly are. While I could influence certain things, I had no control over the ultimate outcome. As a healer and therapist I saw this situation play out all the time. A person can do all the “right” things, but still not get a good result. But my familiarity with the issue didn’t make it easier to swallow. As a father I found it horrifying. Here I was totally powerless at a time when my son needed me the most. And as my son’s health spiraled out of control, the more I spiraled too. So, there tiptoeing Christmas, I was revisited by the ghost of a very inconvenient truth. Life is bigger than all of us. And I could clearly see that no matter how thorough or well I executed my plans they would always play second fiddle to life’s Master Plan; if you can call the unpredictability of life such a thing. And I choose too.
I knew if I was to regain any sense of sanity in this situation I had to let go of the delusion that I could control anything. The outcome was beyond me. And it was equally beyond the professionals working with him too. As trained experts they certainly had better odds at making a difference, more influence, but ultimately they had no more control over the outcome than I did. The outcome just hung like some mysterious mist of possibility just beyond our reach. No matter how much we desired and worked towards a positive outcome, we’d have to ride the situation out.
So I after a few more cerebral spins, I realized if I wanted to create a real sense of safety, I’d best not base it in the hope for a positive outcome. Or in faith either, as I do believe and have faith in the good of all things. While I do believe they are the wisest investments, especially in times of crisis, neither could offer me the level of security I needed. My son could die, and our relationship could go away.
Eventually I allowed myself to look beyond the outcome. And I realized that the magic existed in not having control of his life. The truth was I didn’t need control or a guarantee. All I needed was love. My promise to never stop loving my son was enough to keep us connected, and foerver. It’s hard to explain, but in that moment I finally understood that love was a sacred bond, a promise and the surest guarantee of safety I’d ever get.
To me this seemed like a miracle to me! How is it that a force as powerful as love was entirely within my control and life wasn’t?…
While this situation was not one I’d choose to relive, I’d gotten a powerful insight. I could see that love is a gift that transcends all obstacles, barriers, and time. So like my mentor may have been suggesting; a plan can’t guarantee safety. Only love can. And while I knew this, intellectually, my understanding kind of shifted from understanding to knowing. I now knew my relationship with my son was forever safe.
I’m reminded of a familiar bible verse from my childhood,
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. -Corinthians 13:13
Now that I’m back to my life, I’ve had to take a much deeper look at how I’m allowing love to inform all areas of my life. Including my business. I realized I’d sacrificed a large portion of my work as a healer in my efforts to build and launch my brand, for almost a year now. And while I’ve been missing that connection to people and the work, I’ve for some reason been playing down my role as a healer in my brand. I have reasons, of course, but it’s really been because of fear. So, in 2018 I’ve decided I’m going to allow my healing work to take center stage in my brand, alongside my other work. And I’m going to allow myself to reopen my relationships there. If I want love to flow freely, I can’t hide.
So for those of you that are wondering about the status of my son. Gus has been discharged and appears to be on his way to a full recovery. Man are we grateful. Here’s Gus enjoying a hula hooping Santa on Christmas Day.